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How To Use Transition Words And Phrases

28 13:31:24
People naturally use transitions in regular conversation, and so, naturally, transitions must be inserted in written communications, as well.
What is a Transition Word?
Example: A friend tells you a story about her dog learning a new trick, which reminds you about the trick your own dog just learned yesterday. You wait patiently and listen intently to her telling of the story, and then, you break into the conversation by saying, "Speaking of dogs learning new tricks..."
There you have it! You've just used a transition. You've signalled your friend with six little words that you're about the share some information that relates with hers. Thus, the definition of a transition word is as follows: "Expressions and connectives which help the reader to follow the line of thought from one idea to the next" (Warriner).
ve to link one idea to the next, build upon the last idea, or show contrast between one idea and another.
For example: Sherry consistently does her homework every day after school. As a result, she has developed great study habits, and likewise, great grades. Meanwhile, her brother, who never does his homework, gets horrible grades.
"As a result" concludes that Sherry's consistence with homework is the reason she achieved great study habits.
"Likewise" adds to Sherry's achievements by connecting her consistence with homework not only with great study habits, but also with good grades.
"Meanwhile" shows the reader another time period, or different example - not doing homework equals bad grades.
List of Transition Words
When writing paragraphs, it's helpful to keep a list of linking expressions close by. Below is a list provided by "Warriner's English Grammar and Composition."
To add an idea to one already stated:
To limit or contradict something already said:
To show a time or place arrangement of your ideas:
second (etc.)
To exemplify some idea or to sum up what you have said:
for example
to sum up
in any event
for instance
in brief
How are Transition Words Used in Essays?
Similarly, as transitions are needed within paragraphs, they are also needed to connect one paragraph to the next, and so, a writer will use transitions within an essay to help link his/her points throughout. Refer back to the girl whose dog learned a new trick. She could easily share this story by writing a paragraph about it. But perhaps she would also like to share another story about her pet parrot learning to say a new word. She would need to write another paragraph, and thus, she would need a transition word to signal the reader of the relation from the first paragraph to the next.
For example: now my dog can not only roll over, but also play dead.
Similarly, my pet parrot is also learning new things...
"Similarly" signals the reader that another story is coming, one that will relate to the first.
Reference List of Linking Expressions as Transitional Devices
Below is a list provided by "Warriner's English Grammar and Composition."
in spite of this
in the next place
as might be expected
as a result of this
When constructing a paragraph, or many paragraphs together, remember to use pronouns and linking-expression transitions to help the reader better link different events, examples, ideas and contrasting points together. Doing this will allow the reader to connect the dots from beginning to end and grasp hold of the writer's ideas, points, plot, and themes.